WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO, June 21 (Reuters) – Twelve of the
14 judges who have served this year on the most secret court in
America are Republicans and half are former prosecutors.
One is a former director of the Illinois State Police.
Another helped direct the White House war on drugs. One served
as a prosecutor in the Whitewater case involving the Clintons’
real estate investments. Another forced President Bill Clinton
to testify during the same scandal.
SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Long before he became known worldwide as the National Security Agency contractor who exposed top-secret U.S. government surveillance programs, Edward Snowden worked for a Japanese anime company run by friends and went by the nicknames “The True HOOHA” and “Phish.”
In 2002, he was 18 years old, a high school dropout and his parents had just divorced. On the tiny anime company’s website, he wrote of his skills with video games and popularity with women.
SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Long before he became known worldwide as the NSA contractor who exposed top-secret U.S. government surveillance programs, Edward Snowden worked for a Japanese anime company run by friends and went by the nicknames “The True HOOHA” and “Phish.”
In 2002, he was 18 years old, a high-school dropout and his parents had just divorced. On the tiny anime company’s website, he wrote of his skills with video games and popularity with women.
INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – The U.S. federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year on aid to the poor. There isn’t enough to go around for Shaun Case.
The 34-year-old Indiana native has learning disabilities and endured a childhood of abuse. Relatives say he was thrown through a plate-glass window by his grandmother when he was a teen, leaving him with a permanently numb left hand. Social workers consider him well enough to work, though, and he never qualified for disability benefits.
INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – Indiana’s bold effort to remake welfare got off to a shaky start.
In 2006, Gov. Mitch Daniels privatized the management of the welfare-benefits system with a project led by IBM. Two-thirds of Indiana’s social-service agency’s staffers became employees of IBM and its partners. In a process dubbed “welfare modernization,” recipients would apply for benefits online and by phone rather than meeting social workers face to face.
INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – The U.S. welfare overhaul was designed to incentivize people like Juanita Isom to work. For 13 years, she has had a full-time clerical job at an Indianapolis insurance firm. For 11 of those years, she has been on some kind of public assistance.
The 33-year-old divorced mother of five said she makes roughly $25,000 a year and gets child support from her ex-husband. But she can only get by with help from five federal government programs – food stamps, Medicaid for her kids, childcare vouchers, subsidized school lunches and the earned income tax credit.
BOSTON (Reuters) –
“Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of the conditions of men — the balance wheel of the social machinery.”
– Horace Mann, pioneering American educator, 1848
“In America, education is still the great equalizer.”
– Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, 2011
When Puritan settlers established America’s first public school here in 1635, they planted the seed of a national ideal: that education should serve as the country’s “great equalizer.”
(Reuters) – Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of secretary, spoke with Reuters about education’s role in income inequality. The questions and answers have been edited for length.
Q: In a commencement speech in December 2011, you said education is still the “great equalizer.” Is that true?
GARDNER, Massachusetts (Reuters) – In Massachusetts, places like Mount Wachusett Community College are on the front line in the effort to bolster education for adults. Located in the former chair-making hub of Gardner, the college has seen a flood of students since the financial crisis struck in 2007.
Enrollment is at a record 12,300 students, but state aid has shrunk from about two-thirds of the budget to about a quarter in the past decade. So, Mount Wachusett raised fees. Over the past four years, the loan burden shouldered by the average student seeking an associate’s degree has doubled to $8,000.
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania – (Reuters) – As Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum fought for his political life in 2006, his ally Senator Arlen Specter offered a word of advice: Just stop talking.
What Specter meant was that Santorum should stop talking about social issues, according to Adrienne Baker Green, a Specter aide who witnessed the exchange.